A star in our midst: When Maradona last visited Malaysia

(from left) Football legend Diego Maradona, Indian actress Karisma Kapoor and Boby Chemmanur holding the mock-cheque of sponsorship to Star NiE Programme 2015 before the opening of Boby & Maradona Jeweller Store in Nu Sentral yesterday. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star. May 30, 2015.

PETALING JAYA: It was a sight to behold when Albiceleste fever hit a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, which was packed with people clad in the blue-and-white striped jerseys of the Argentinian football team, hoping to catch a glimpse of Diego Maradona.

This happened during the launch of the Boby & Maradona Gold Diamond Jewellery outlet on May 30, 2015, a business venture between the Argentine football legend and Indian jewellery tycoon Boby Chemmanur.

This was a rare chance for Malaysian football fans to see the legend in person.

The opening of the store, the first of its kind in South-East Asia, was also attended by Bollywood star Karisma Kapoor.

During the event, Maradona also presented an RM70,000 mock cheque from the jeweller to The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) programme, an education pullout to help students improve their proficiency in English.

The event began with Kapoor holding the floor, but the atmosphere changed significantly when Maradona arrived.

The crowd went wild when he showcased his football skills onstage with fans clamouring to get a peek at the action – it was evident that Maradona was well-loved by Malaysians.

Maradona's demise of a heart attack on Wednesday (Nov 25), aged 60, was mourned by football fans around the world.

His exploits on the field left an indelible mark in Argentina's sports history, notably winning the FIFA World Cup in 1986.

Maradona's life story was one of rags to riches – a kid from the slums who dazzled everyone on the field, rose up through the ranks and is now considered one of, if not the greatest football player ever.

With Maradona no longer with us, the time when he visited Malaysia is one to remember.

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